Manipur police commandos on Friday rescued three labourers kidnapped by militants. The labourers were rescued after an encounter with the militants in Imphal East district, according to police.
The labourers were rescued unharmed from the hill range between Boljang and New Boljang villages under Thoubal Dam police station after about two hours of exchange of fire early Friday morning.
One AK-56 assault rifle was recovered from captors’ hideout area in the further operation after the cross firing ceased, the police claimed. The police suspect the kidnappers to be cadres of Kuki National Liberation Army (KNLA).
The three rescued labourers have been identified as Yumnam Sushilkumar alias Nanao (30), son of Y Irabot of Thoubal Athokpam Makha Leikai, Laishram Debchandra Singh (50), son of late L Tomba of Khangabok Mamang Leikai and Ngangbam Gunadhar (55), son of N Nabakumar of Kanglasiphai.
They are labourers engaged in the construction of a bridge at Laikhong village near Nongpok Keithelmanbi under the PMGSY scheme. Sushilkumar is the mohori (caretaker) who stayed together with the labourers at a makeshift camp of the labourers at the construction site.
Police said they were kidnapped by suspected Kuki based militants on the night, around 10 pm, on February 7. The police commandos launched the rescue operation after a complaint was lodged at Thoubal Dam police station on Thursday (February 11).
On receiving the information, a strong team of police commandos attached with Imphal East district police commandos launched an intensive search operation in the hill range of Keihao, Henjang, Kamuching forest. After the continuous search operation, the police commandos engaged in an exchange of fire with the suspected militants Friday morning, around 5 am at the hill range between Boljang and New Boljang village. The militants initiated the firing allegedly on seeing the police commandos approaching the areas, the police said.
After more than two hours of cross firing, the armed Kuki militants fled the area leaving behind the persons they kidnapped.
There was no report of inflicting casualty on either side in the cross firing. However, during a search operation in the hideout area of the militants, an AK-56 assault rifle was recovered, the police added.
Quoting the statement of the rescued labourers, the police claimed that they were abducted from the makeshift camp they were staying at by the suspected militants on ransom demand.